Camberley & District Probus Club

Jaguar/Land Rover factory at West Bromwich, 28 August 2019

A pleasantly swift and traffic-jam free coach journey got us to the MacDonalds and KFC round the back of JLR in good time for a lunch break. Coffee and biscuits followed in the Jaguar visitor Centre, with time to admire the latest Jaguar electric cars, and have an introductory talk from our two guides.

That was followed by a detailed tour of the F Type sports car production line. The highlight must be the “cell” of around ten massive robots assembling and riveting together a jigsaw puzzle of components to make the car’s chassis. The way they each collected the pieces for their section of chassis, changed their “hands” for riveting guns, then back to hands to pass the assembly on to an adjacent robot to do its bit. All perfectly synchronised and in perfect harmony, until a complete chassis was handed down the line.

The cars are made from Swiss aluminium – so presumably “Brexit” is irrelevant on that score. Might even result in lower prices if we can drop the EU tariffs. Switzerland is not in the EU.

The West Bromwich site was a major Spitfire aircraft production site during WWII. As such it was a prime target for the German bombers. We were taken down to see an underground shelter set up, and used in earnest, as a hospital during the raids.

Then back to the Visitor Centre for more coffee, and chats with the guides, followed by another swift journey back to Pine Ridge Golf.

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